The halibut caught by Randy Haines might look little, especially next to the monster 198.2-pound halibut caught by Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby’s current leader James Jell, but it’s the tag on Haines’ fish that could make the Arizona angler a winner. A very big winner.
On July 13, Haines of Fort McDowell, Ariz., hooked into one of 114 halibut caught, tagged and released earlier this year by members of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, the derby sponsor, and local charter captains. Among the tags is a GCI-sponsored tag worth $50,000, a Stanley Ford of Kenai-sponsored tag worth a new Ford F-150 pickup, four tags worth $10,000 each, 38 worth $1,000 each, 59 worth $500 each and 11 worth $250.
Since the derby began May 15, one tagged halibut was caught in May, 15 in June and six more in July.
The value of tags caught in the derby will be announced on Sept. 16, the day after the derby ends.
Jell of Moscow, Idaho, continues as front-runner in the derby’s biggest-halibut category, which offers a $10,000 jackpot prize. Jell hooked into his halibut July 7 while fishing with Capt. Chad Kiesel of Silver Fox Charters aboard the Arctic Envy.
Derby tickets are $10 per day and can be purchased at the chamber and many local businesses.
Homer has a two halibut limit per day, per person.
For more information on the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, visit www.homer-halibutderby.com.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.